Singled Out: Rob W. Carlson's 100 Decibel Shoes

Today progressive rocker Rob W. Carlson tells us about the song "100 Decibel Shoes" from his new album "You Better Call Someone". Here is the story:

I was talking to my wife and she mentioned, you have never written a dance tune! So my brain started looking for a spark to ignite the title and lyrics. It happened around 6:00 AM, my wife was walking down stairs. Her shoes were slamming the maple steps, "Man that was loud." The title presented itself, 100 Decibel Shoes!

I came up with a house beat, and set the BPM to a brisk walking tempo. I'm a total Zappa freak and got to work on cool guitar parts with whacked interval jumps (for the solo section). I also used the synth arpeggiator to spin some weirdness and transferred it to my guitar, you can hear it on the intro.

Zappa had funny lyrics when came to libido tunes, so the lyrics took that route. Example, third verse:

Tight leather straps with football cleats

She'll nail your heart with some breakin' beats

Moonshine stilettos under a high torque dress.

I think your libido is showing you might as well confess

The blues influence you can hear in the vocals. I've listened to a lot (and played my heart in a lot of blues bands) of singers like Junior Wells, Robert Johnson and Etta James. Bob Tench, the dude that sang with Jeff Beck had an impact on me as well. The way these folks crooned, used vibrato, and belted out the blues is what I was looking for!

Mixing a house beat with blues vocals and a hint of Zappa was fun. When I write the deep down influences start to take control of a new song, sometimes out of control, which is the most exciting part of music for me. Sometimes you find connections you didn't know you had!

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album right here!

Rob W. Carlson CDs, DVDs and MP3s

Rob W. Carlson T-shirts and Posters

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